A topographically patterned substrate with stochastic surface order that closely mimics the topographic features of native basement membranes has been fabricated to investigate the influence of topographic biophysical cueing on human aortic and umbilical vein endothelial cells. The stochastic substrate was fabricated by first generating a highly porous polyelectrolyte multilayer film of poly(acrylic acid) and poly(allylamine hydrochloride) followed by replicate production of this biomimetic topography via soft lithography. These substrates, which are easy to prepare and replicate, possess a number of prominent features associated with in vivo vascular basement membrane (interwoven ridges and grooves, bumps, and pores), which have typically been studied as singular features that frequently possess anisotropic surface order (e.g., alternating ridges and grooves). When compared to a flat surface of identical chemistry, these biomimetic topographies influenced a number of important cellular behaviors associated with the homeostasis and degradation of vascular tissues. These include modulating cell migration rate and directional persistence, proliferation rate, and gene expression associated with regulation and remodeling of vascular tissues as well as inflammation.
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